Thursday, July 3, 2008

Robert's City

From Robert's blog:

A Few Thoughts on Illegal Drug Policy

I responded at length to this posting by Los Angeles based columnist, Amy Alkon. I thought it worthy to repost here.

Illegal drug use is the #1 issue in Vancouver, BC where I live. A major swath of the city has been infested with lost souls who are high on one or more of: Heroin, crack cocaine, crystal meth, and a variety of others.

The consumption of these drugs costs money. It is estimated that 80% of all property crime (cars, homes, businesses) is directly related to drug use. With a 10:1 ratio of selling stolen property, $10,000 worth of stuff is stolen for every $1,000 worth of drugs. Not only has this driven insurance rates sky high, but it has also resulted in disruptions of phone and electrical service, as the drug addicts have ripped out wires in search of copper to sell for scrap metal.

Metro Vancouver was recently named as the organized crime capital of the world, with literally tens of thousands of homes being converted over to drug growing dens or drug manufacturing labs. Just the other week, an apartment complex in the supposedly good neighbourhood where I live (Kitsilano) had to be evacuated for a few days because some nutbar decided to turn his apartment into a crystal meth manufacturing facility. He killed himself with the fumes and potentially risked the lives of everyone else in the building from exposure to the fumes or an explosion.

From time to time we have gangstas (generally Asian or South Asian) roaming around the streets, firing automatic weapons into the cars & homes of their enemies. However, their bullets don't suddenly fall to the ground before hitting innocent people.

"BC Bud" is the high potency marijuana that others have mentioned. It is primarily shipped down to the U.S. in exchange for guns, cocaine, and heroin coming up here. Those items coming to us are not blessings on our society in any way, shape, or form.

The police have pretty much given up on arresting drug addicts and often drug dealers because our over lenient judges have continuously released these people back onto the street before the arresting cop starts his next shift.

Over in Switzerland, where they've had a pretty open "live and let live" policy about drug use, even they are rethinking it because of what it is doing to their society.

I don't precisely know what the ultimate solution to this Modern Day Plague is but its presence in my community has turned me from a pure Libertarian into a Pragmatic Libertarian.

One proposed policy I'm in growing support of is to forcibly incarcerate drug addicts into treatment facilities far away from the source of their misery. Many recovered drug addicts agree with this approach, saying that until a person hits rock bottom, they'll never go willingly. But it often takes many years of misery to reach that point. By then, many are dead.

Of course, there are significant forces against such a policy. They speak of "human rights" but I strongly believe what's really at the heart of their objections is that many, many people are now gainfully employed by the Poverty Industry. These are the folks who are supposedly employed to help these lost souls. They're very adept at applying band-aids but actually curing the drug addictions doesn't seem to be of much interest to them.

Am I cynical? I prefer the term "realistic and saddened observer"!


An academic wants to witness assisted suicide. A fight is brewing over his right to do that.

So goes the front page headline.

The key words here are "want" and "right."

As we have all learned by repeated lashes on irrationality, "want" and "right" have now become equivalents in Canadian culture.

I want to bash people's heads in; therefor I must have that right.

I want to kick or shoot or main Jews, blacks, Scots, dogs or sales clerks; therefore I must have the right.

I want to talk loudly on my cell phone during violin concertos, libraries, restaurants, buses; therefore I have the right.


I want to see people end their lives. This will make a good paper.


Now, don't leap to misunderstand me.

Academic research and academic freedoms are important. They are often frivolous, ridiculous, entirely self-serving, a complete waste of taxpayers money and human energy, but they must be maintained and upheld because one of those investigations out of a thousand might actually yield some shard of information that will actually be of some use to humankind sooner or later.

Still, that leaves many questions.

I want to witness the raping of babies for my academic research and therefore I should be allowed to stage such and watch and take notes?

This is not as outrageous and far-fetched as you may think.

In the 70's, a husband and wife team of psychologists, called the Sobels, actually had a bar built in a classroom at the U of T so that they could teach drunks to sip.

I am not making that up.

Several years later, they made the cover of Time magazine, by confessing that they finally realized that what they were doing (trying to teach drunks to "manage" alcohol) was destructive and immoral.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has formed a brassy committee to investigate the death-watcher's concerns. Perhaps CAUT should be CAUGHT.

The committee is a panel of blue ribbon...wait for it...academics.

This is akin to the police investigating themselves, and we all know how well that works.

If CAUGHT really wants to study this issue - and it should because it is a deeply moral and philosophical matter - it should add to the committee housewives, house husbands, doctors, rabbis, priests, CEOs and school children, among others.

Excuse me, I have to go watch a gang of teens swarm a harmless old man at a bus stop and kick him to death. We're set to go at eleven.

Quote of the Week

" I doubt that many people in Metro Vancouver of aware of Translink's wordwide reputation."


I doubt that Thomas Prendergast, the new CEO of Transclunk, recently imported from NYC, has ever waited 20 minutes for the #20 bus at the Broadway station at 8 pm, surrounded by drug deals.

I doubt that Mr. P. is aware of how arrogantly he has begun his reign telling us poor little Metro Vancouverites how little is our awareness.

I doubt P. has taken his communications and diplomacy pills this week.

Ca-ching! That Hosannah will be a Buck and a Quarter

Hertz is deducting 20 minutes pay per week from en employee for his time spent praying.

This is the poster boy action for stupid, counter-productive and old-fashioned management.

In today's marketplace, any employer who time cards his wage earners is working backwards.

The name of the game is responsibility. Get the job done, whether it takes 5 minutes or 9 hours.

And praying?

They should be happy they have an employee with some values.

What'$ in a Name? Lot$

War fraud - badly made and faulty equipment, overbilling - is costing the American taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars today.

Unfortunately, or cleverly, depending on how you vote, there is nothing to be done, to be done, because neither the Iraq nor Afghanistan missions was declared "a war."

Read the NY Times editorial here, and remember, for truth in journalism, always follow the money.

Andy Bey